Government

Proposed Ordinances in Fairfield Include Water Service Charges & More

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FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Fairfield Township Council introduced an ordinance regarding water service charges at its meeting on Monday. Due to an increase in service charges from the Passaic Valley Water Commission, if the ordinance is passed at the public hearing on Monday, Feb. 27, effective on Jan. 1, 2017, Fairfield Township quarterly water rates will increase by $3.

Prior to this new ordinance, the quarterly charge for water consumed on a premises from zero-to-15,000 gallons was $56. If adopted, the cost will now be $59. Above 15,000 gallons for every 1000 gallons, the charge will increase from $4.75 to $5.

In addition, the municipal water department would fill residential swimming pools located within approximately 300 feet of an available water hydrant at a flat fee to the homeowner or occupant for $205. Previously, the cost was $195.

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As of Jan. 1, 2017, the Passaic Valley Water Commission increased wholesale water rates from $2,389.12 per Million Gallons per Day (MGD) to $2,508.58 per MGD, according to the council.

A second ordinance introduced at the meeting would establish an overlay zone encompassing certain lands on the westerly side of Fairfield Road between Horseneck Road and Kulick Road within the Route 46 special highway district.

The proposed ordinance explains that because the demographic character of Fairfield is changing due to the fact that the township’s population is aging—while at the same time, younger people are looking for places to live that are more “pedestrian friendly”— the township is looking to form a centralized business district that will have a “variety of retail and service commercial uses, which reinforce a strong sense of place.”

The idea is that young adults may reside in attached residential developments as one stage in the home-buying cycle. If adopted, the ordinance will allow ground-level retail with residential development above.

The ordinance also explains that the township has “experienced a significant increase in loss of ratables that has had an impact on the local budgetary process, which requires that the township consider a planning response to address the adaptive reuse of underutilized properties.”

The plans of this ordinance will not adversely impact residential districts and established businesses.

If passed on Monday, March 13, this ordinance named, Fairfield Township Ordinance #2017-2, will amend an overlay zone to allow for mixed use for Block:1202; lots 7-20.

Ordinance #2017-3 deals with how the township will measure building heights. Previously, the height was determined relative to street curbing in front of the lot, but now other measurements will be taken into account and placed in a formula to regulate heights.

The new ordinance will measure building height compared to a building’s relationship to the area immediately surrounding the building. The 35-foot height requirement remains the same. The second reading of this ordinance will be on Monday, Feb. 27.

A fourth ordinance introduced would amend the code relating to affordable housing maximum rents and sales. In order to comply with the Fair Housing Act, the township has Fair Share Housing Regulations that assure that low-and moderate-income units, called affordable units, are created with controls on affordability.

Previously, a three-bedroom unit was required to have at least four-to-five people living in the unit. The new ordinance requires no mandate.

Therefore, if a couple wants to rent a three-bedroom unit, they may. The second reading of this ordinance will be on Monday, Feb. 27.

The fifth and final ordinance introduction dealt with two zoning overlays. One is from the Gallo Complex on Fairfield Road to Passaic Avenue and on the other side of Fairfield Road from the gas station to Passaic Avenue.

According to the council, those properties would allow mixed use while Fairfield Court will have an overlay, which would allow for multifamily housing. All properties rezoned at the meeting will be required a minimum of two acres to be developed.

The second reading of this ordinance will be Monday, March 13.

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